In 1985, in the largest leveraged buyout by one individual to date, Leandro P. Rizzuto bought back his company. Conair Corporation was, once again, privately held. Investors, many of them family friends, who had purchased 1000 shares of Continental Hair Products at $8.75 a share just thirteen years earlier, walked away with over $300,000. That’s an unprecedented return on investment of over 30%, compounded annually. That same year, the company moved its sales and marketing offices to a spacious facility one block from Long Island Sound, in Stamford, Connecticut. Lee and most of his family soon moved up to Connecticut, as well. Eventually, the new complex would house the executive offices, research and development, test kitchens, the legal department, human resources, and a full-service, state-of-the-art creative services department. No space at Conair was ever wasted; if Lee could bring something in-house to do, he’d do it! And very often, he would do it better! Everything that happened to Conair in the ‘80s seemed big! The company was moving so much product that by 1987 the warehousing and distribution facility in Phoenix had to be doubled in size. Even bigger than the Phoenix event, though, was the sale of Zotos. In 1988, just five years after Lee purchased Zotos International for $71 million, he sold the company to Shiseido Japan for $345 million. That was $274 million more than he’d paid for it.
conair Packaging company, Rantoul, Illinois warehouse, Phoenix, arizona